ISRAEL - Israeli officials were caught in a revealing lie late last month as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. Shortly after declaring the most popular boy's name in Israel to be "Yosef", the interior ministry was forced to concede that the top slot was actually filled by "Mohammed".
This is true even though, in1948, more than 80 per cent of Palestinians were forced out by Israel as it established a Jewish state on their homeland. Of course Jews argue that they were there first.
Today, non-Jewish citizens of Israel constitute about 25% of the population, with 20% being Arabs.
1,683,200 individuals, according to recently released demographics are Arabs. Since being named after the prophet Mohammed is extremely popular among the Arab population, it should perhaps not be a surprise that the name "Yosef" would come in second.
But Prime Minister Benjamain Netanyahu called the situation "disgraceful." To see to it that "Yosef" would be the most popular name in Israel, he urged the Israeli Parliament to pass a law mandating that all Jewish male babies be called by that name.